Banking Reform in Vietnam


Anne Ho and Ashle Baxter

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June 9, 2011

Vietnam’s banking sector is expected to have one of the highest growth rates in Asia during the next few years due to the country’s continued economic expansion, rising household incomes, and relatively low penetration of existing banking services. Over the past two decades, the Vietnamese government has undertaken a series of reforms to strengthen and modernize the sector as part of the country’s move towards a more open and market-oriented economy. Many of these reforms have also been motivated by Vietnam’s growing participation in international agreements and ongoing efforts to adopt international standards such as the Basel capital framework. Key reforms include a restructuring of the banking system, a gradual opening to foreign investment, the partial privatization of state-owned banking institutions, and measures to strengthen the capitalization of Vietnamese banks. This Asia Focus report provides an overview of Vietnam’s banking sector, reviews significant developments since the mid-1980s, and highlights key challenges to reform implementation.